Wine review: Vini Merlot 2007

Reasons to go crazy over this wine:

• Screw top.

• It costs $8.

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• It’s from Bulgaria (and the back label notes that “Since we haven’t seen you in Bulgaria lately. …”)

• It’s actually available, says the importer, at selected Majestics.

• It may be the best-made cheap merlot I’ve ever had. It’s certainly the best I’ve had in a long time, with enough tannin and structure to complement the cherry and plum fruit. Best yet, it wasn’t cloying and jammy, like so many inexpensive California merlots. It’s pleasant enough to drink on its own, but it would also pair with barbecue, beef fajitas, and meat loaf. Most definitely a candidate for the 2010 $10 Hall of Fame.

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